Lesson Plan

Discover Your Changing Climate

Mountain Ranges Obscured by Smog

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Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Lesson Duration:
60 Minutes


After completing this program, 5th and 6th grade students will be able to:
1. Explain the difference between climate and weather.
2. Explain the role greenhouse effect in determining global temp.
3. List two human activities that contribute to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
4. Describe at least one method scientists use to study past climates.
5. Identify at least one local impact of a changing global climate.


This program introduces the basics of climate, weather, and the greenhouse effect then invites students to explore past and present climates through a mock Climate Science Summit small-group activity. Each group ana-lyzes either a tree core, ice core, or sediment core and shares its results with the class. Throughout the program students explore objectivity as a tool for understanding complex change.


Download 5th and 6th Grade Pre-Visit Activity

Download 5th and 6th Grade Post-Visit Activity

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Last updated: January 5, 2017